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Super Bowl will be first Chiefs game for KU Health System employee

KU Hospital.jpeg
Posted at 6:47 AM, Feb 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-07 11:24:24-05

TAMPA — Rachael Liesman, Ph.D. has never been to a Chiefs game. The director of microbiology at the University of Kansas Health System has spent most Sundays over the past year processing COVID-19 tests. But she’s off work this Sunday and will attend her first game at the Super Bowl in Tampa.

The NFL gave more than 7,000 healthcare workers free tickets to the game to thank them for their work during the pandemic.

Liesman’s job is to manage all testing for infectious diseases. Her work to find and implement a test for COVID-19 began in January, 2020. KU says, thanks to Liesman’s effort, it was the first hospital in the Kansas City area to test patients for COVID-19.

“When you’re called, you just figure it out, you do it,” Liesman explained. “it was a lot of pressure, but it was also one thing we had to do and we knew we had to do for the community.”

Liesman moved to Kansas City in 2017 and quickly became a Chiefs fan. So when her bosses called her into the conference room to surprise her with a ticket to Super Bowl LV, she was beside herself.

“I was stunned, I’m still kinda stunned,” she said in Tampa.

She looks forward to the experience.

“[It’ll be] rejuvenating, like finally something that feels a little normal, that feels like I have all my Chiefs friends around me. I’m really looking forward to that feeling.”

Liesman had to be sure to thank Megan who is working in the lab on Super Bowl Sunday. The lab runs every day of the year.